High School Senior Photography

Lesson 18/32 - Shoot: Red Backdrop Q&A


High School Senior Photography


Lesson Info

Shoot: Red Backdrop Q&A

So I think you weren't lying when you said you got one of those cameras that doesn't take blurry pictures because I'm surprised in those shots I don't know if they can crop it on the face what are you doing so that you're not getting blur on her face and one sixteenth of a second it seems to me like with her making that move hair still in the air you would not get a sharp image yeah one sixtieth yeah, well it's a creative life thing they have special cameras that allows no what's happening here is you've got to understand that even though I'm one sixteenth of a second is when that flash is firing it's freezing the action okay, so in a sense that's why she's not she's not blurry okay, if I were just taking it uh a hand you know, handheld no flash, no stroke it wouldn't be it wouldn't be blurry, but it might not it might be a little soft let's say because one sixty it's still decent shutter speed but what's happening here in this specific case is the flash is freezing the action and that...

's why she she looks like that you with me okay, so what I want to do now, guys, what I'm going for is a little bit more of a windblown look and let's talk about this image for a second some of you out there you may love it you may hate it it's ok I'm ok either way I could care less how you feel about it what I'm doing though is giving diversity it's all about diversity so I'm not going to spend an hour doing this I spent two minutes hey, spin your head around if we get something cool it's great if we don't we move on ok, so all you want to do is start thinking about how you can be in studio an ad diversity to your portfolio when you have a very limited backdrop this is one backdrop so it's the pot's that's gonna add diversity having on mike and I think this adds to your model experience and that says this is the experience is this what the girls want to look like? Yeah, this is what they're saying on the tv show exactly how do you feel about it? You digging that? Oh yeah I like you so you actually like this picture? I do good we're paying you to say that that's good right? So john what I want to do here is uh it was too hard on her show is there? Is there any way to dial it down? All right, so let's see what that looks like? Look at me. Yes, you see john's giving her a little bit of motion I'll show you what the picture looks like you don't want just feather it in we don't want it to look like she's in a wind tunnel that's very important you don't want to like squinting our eyes so just real smooth god so here's what I want you to pop that hip yeah right like that lips together good turtle for me down right there is where I want you and then john let's see what we can do to feather it smile with your eyes just a little bit there you go there you go hole that feather a job a little bit more don't get that side moving john yeah both of us just you made rotator yeah there you go there you go looking right at me beautiful beautiful one more big smile now chin down beautiful let's see what's coming up I'll look at that I love that shot okay so that's her serious look right that is gonna edit beautifully so I already know looking at this that I like the way this is gonna happen again this is a raw image nothing's been done to it but I know from in camera my own experience that this is gonna add it well let's find one where she's smiling in this okay and you got to find the right one with the hair so this particular one I don't like because of what's happening to her hair it's all getting separated I'd be looking for one were hairs together and this is what the fan is for your experimenting with that you just keep feathering it in talk to your assistant tell them what you're looking for but this is a ten fifteen dollars fan and it's giving us a very unique look do we have any other images from this where she's smiling that's a little bit better but there's still some hair separation there so that would not be the perfect image but you see where I'm going with this, right? I don't know if we're gonna do this tomorrow, so if we're doing it tomorrow then I'll save the question for them but our what when you talk about you'll shoot seven hundred on a shoot you'll show him to fifty this one you'll toast this is this is why I write this one toasted so this is one you'll toast, right? I'm not perfect every frame I click is not going to be is not gonna be money I know this so I'm protecting myself I personally do not understand photographers who will on ly shoot sixty to one hundred frames for the entire session I'm like wow, you must be great because I'm not that good to nail it in sixty to one hundred frames I'd rather shoot a little looser if you will on then narrow it down because you know that mike let's see that looks good on camera maybe I missed it when I looked at it in camera and uh now I get it on my screen and I'm looking at a thirty inch monitor and now I'm like damn I just taken one more frame her hair maybe I got one where hair was better right so let's go back to the one I do love or go back to grade let's see if we have ok so that's the last time go to the right the one all the way on the right that's not too bad I might not I probably won't toast that that's not too bad but it's not perfect it's not what I'd be looking for let's go back to grid and get me the one where she's serious and that hair is blowing right in there that's the one go back I love that one that's my personal opinion mom may see it others may see it and they go well I don't like that when I like the one before it that's great when it's your studio you make that selection that's the whole point right? So for me I love this image I know I'm already thinking about what I would do in post production to this right and we'll work on these tomorrow so what I'm what I'm thinking we're going to do is we're going to soften up that skin we're going to enhance her eyes a little bit on dh you know, maybe try and get rid of some of those hot spots that's happening just cause it's warm in here being under the light she's getting some of that shine there's things we can do in post production to fix that. So that works out perfect. What? I do that for a normal photo shoot. Why not? I'd pay more attention to blotting, but this is a perfect shot that we would be able to sell a cz a headshot is a sixteen by twenty four in our studio. Let's, take some questions. Okay, I have a question from twitter from our friend bunny trails. Hi bunny trails. Um, can you describe how this plays out if you have no studio shooting only on loki vision, the same exact shooting that you're doing right now? Yeah, it's faras I'm concerned this plays out the same exact way I would be doing the same exact thing and we will for the record right after lunch. We go outside and you'll see how I'm working in the rhythm is the same that tight little white tightening, a wide the way I'm coaching her, but what happens when you get outside is you've got more props to work. With a few well, right so you can maybe have her lean against a brick wall you can have her come off that brick wall and it creates a totally different look and so you've got a little more diversity when you're outside I think inside you're a little more dependent on props, props like a chair uh, you know, there's just there's only so much you can do here indoors. So what I try to do personally when I'm running my business is I use things like wind to create a different look expression to create a different look on then lighting so what we're gonna do is we're going to get her out of this we're going to change to a completely different light set up I'm going to do with more of a clamshell lighting setup, which is going again emulate mohr of what they're seeing in magazines and I'll show will walk through that, but I want you guys to understand that when you're in this studio environment, you've gotta create diversity or every picture is going to look the same is that are you guys getting the rhythm part? No, you're the one I'm talking to most on the rhythm you get no yeah, I like I like the fact that what I can see on there is the you know, uh landscape landscape, landscape tight middle wide portrait tight mental wide on and the fact that you're taking you know I call myself an overshoot or anyways like you know it's free why not but so yes yes well and and let me because I think people at home might be freaking out that you just said it was free so just to correct you it is it is free in the sense of space if you will but it's not free in that somebody's gotta editors right so you're gonna be investing your time and that's where we all have to be conscious and aware that the more we shoot there's post production work to be done there whether it's you or someone else it doesn't matter right so just be conscious of and I guess what I meant by that is that you know is free to shoot it I can toast it at the end of the day the six that I don't want I mean I'm not going you know I had it all seven hundred fifty that is correct the five hundred that you toasted they were freebies and my philosophy on that is simple guys I would rather have the image and get rid of it then wish I took the image there's a totally different mindset and I hope everybody's picking up if we could go back to grid mode I hope everyone's picking up on the fact of what we're doing here is it comes back to rhythm rhythm rhythm tight, middle wide, vertical, horizontal. So no matter how nervous you may get, no matter how overwhelmed you get, you go back to your basic training. So even photography work in my studio and work under me a second shooter's this is the way I train them if they come back and they're not shooting tight, middle wide that's what I jump on them about because this is important to any story. Any portrait shoot is having that diversity. So let's, take some questions. Great. Okay, um, we have a question from b j l photo who says many photographers tells to keep the soft box as close to our subject as possible. Are the lights so far from the subject to keep the aperture a two point eight? Yeah. Let's do this. I'm gonna get you changed. Okay, so you did great let's get you changed into your next outfit, okay? And then we'll put a new backdrop up. Yeah, so absolutely. So the you're actually right. So for tarver's, the closer you get to your subject, we're going to soften up that light a little bit. Very, very true. I'm pulling these lights back to get that to wait. Which is more important to me so I would make the argument is looking at what we see up there light's pretty soft on her it's not very it's not very hard on her and we're creating even lighting so I think we're accomplishing anyway what we're looking for so yeah, but if you don't pull that light back it's almost impossible to get it down to eight or lower in a studio yeah let's let's look at this let's flip to this we can see here this is a monster soft box that's creating a very soft light falling on her that that is huge you know? And I mean this is what would you say that is a five foot soft shamir large so I mean that's a big light source and maybe in your studio you can't put one that big in because you don't have a big enough ceilings goes bigas you can to create a soft light as possible and then you could both baffling into to toe really soften it even more right? You create two layers of within your soft box let's keep going while she's changing. All right? So folks again are very curious about your focusing methods because so many folks do talk about focus and recompose so so you're in a single shot yes are you ever using so you're not ever using continuous um and you're changing your focal points my focal point and guys don't worry about it and when I teach workshops and you work side by side with me, this is a topic that we have to like almost pause the event on andi it's kind of like life changing for a lot of photographers I had one girl in my workshop and she's going through light room and she's like why're all my picture's blurry all the time I think something's wrong with my camera and so I'm like, let me see you shoot a little bit and I'm seeing this focus recompose focus recomposed and she's using a twenty four seven so of course there's more con cave nature to the lens, right? I'm like I teach her how to move her focus when she didn't even know how to move her focus point I had no idea that you could do it she was actually shooting it in like grid mode, right? Where would focus points would just grab whatever it would see now you move that focus point everything went tack sharp owner that's more important to me so yes let's let's break it down, man that red not get your cameras out right now that red dot put it on your subjects I I would rather pull back a little bit more and crop down in post let's see if we got show me a wider shot on the third line up here and I'm gonna come over to the screen I don't know if they can see where I'm pointing yeah ok let's stay here this is perfect on a portrait like this that red dot is right on her I one hundred percent on her eye and you're looking at this and I see all this head room I understand it's there it's not what I would deliver in a final product but what if the client orders this in an eight by ten I've got room to crop what if the client wants this in a five by seven these air different aspect or issues I've got room to crop down and not cut her head off not cut body parts off ok, so I would rather have a tack sharp image that I can now crop in post production then a softer image that's being perfectly composed that's the problem I see workshops all over the place and our like composing camera composing camera yes composing camera but you have to do a little bit of you gotta have that sharp image so move your red dot wherever you want it that's the key I'm sure this ain't paying for that with the hair flip so I think that was what was getting people is why are you pre focusing or well there I did pre focus right? So from that perspective she was sideways right, I knew she was getting ready, so my red dot was right here on the side of her face when she was getting ready to come back around. So in theory, she's already focused right now as she speeds this I I get my focus and then pop when I think the time's right that's why I don't do the back focus, because if I did the back focus on that at back focus, and then if she spins and comes forward she's past that, that focal plane she's going to be soft it's guarantee. So I don't know, I feel like my my technique is like crazy it's out there like to me it's, just basic camera, you know, technique. And I guess then we're having people say, well, maybe they're camera only has three focus points, or for people who might not have as nice of lenses as well, do you still recommend the same? Yeah, it's the same thing to me that that is that is foundational to your operating your camera, you know, I don't know of any cameras that only have three focus points that would be bad, but I know the cannon five d is limited it's got nine focus points now, the new version of the five mark three that does have a lot more focus point, so I would consider whether you're canon nikon doesn't matter just get a camera where you can move those focus points, but guys, when I started out, I started out with, uh, man on the digital side attendee those were horrible cameras ten d twenty on then I jumped to a five d so those were all limited focal points, but I still did it right. I moved that focus point right to their eye and everything will become tack sharp. So I'm telling you, if you want to immediately improve the quality of your imagery, change nothing else, get that focus point right on them and you will have an amazing tack sharp image go try over lunch tried get out there, shoot something right she's your dog, your kid? Anything cool? All right, well, there's quite a few people asking, uh seems like a lot of people when we have one speed light trying to shoot outside so in studio had asked if you're on location are using a light modifier on the speed light, I wonder how often you use speed lights outside if you're doing mostly natural light and then also question from philly, mike, if you're shooting really fast and speed lights can't keep up, how do you manage the heat and recycle times with that? Okay all really good questions so let's go through kind of being on location I will you if I'm shooting and open shade okay then I'm not using any speed lights there's really? No reason to to I'm using open shade I've got great light coming in uh at most I might use a reflector, right? So reflectors you khun there is no recycle time so using reflectors when I use my speed lights on location I'm going for a very, very distinctive look so where you want to use your speed lights on locations when you want that dark blue sky but your subjects just well illuminated that's how you're doing it you're not getting that deep blue sky if you're not using your speed lights that's how we do it so there was a picture in the beginning of my slide deck yesterday where we had one of our girls standing on a railroad track with this deep blue sky that was done with a speed light so we had to speed lights. We had two of our five eighties to get that to occur without those there's the reflector will not be able to push enough white back into the subject to make your sky go dark but then illuminate the subject and we'll do that when we go outside, I'll walk you through the methodology to keep the recycle time going I use cyclones these air battery packs that plug in your five eighties they are for a one second recycle time and those are available being agent very very cost effective you'll see me using those later today, but I can't imagine using my speed lights, which is four batteries in him you have to have that battery pack to give it enough power now one speed light outdoors you're not going to be able overpower the son they're just not powerful enough so you'd have to invest in a second speed light to get that dark blue sky which will do today cool so you'll show us the cyclone later yeah, I'll show you cyclone how we use it in all that other good stuff and are you putting modifiers on the speed light outside ever outside? We do not typically put modifiers on the speed lights. However, if I get into a situation like for that nordstrom's fashion shoot did up in new york we are using modifiers on the speed light so we use road rogue is my favorite light modifier right now they've got the grids which we gave away on then they've got something that's comparable to a soft box there there light modifiers the name escapes me right now, but they just attach writes your speed like they're forty fifty box and they come up and they just really soften the light and that's what we used really easy tio travel with their called lightning might vendors and so the light benders really just curved they attach to your flash go to the rogue website they're super super inexpensive but very well made on makes traveling easy fantastic and keep tweeting away folks because we're giving away uh those the cyclone yeah that's right we have the two battery packs I'm using today we're actually going to give those away to a lucky winner I have a question over here yeah because you're so mobile and because you're running around a lot uh and we may see it later how are you mounting your speed lights if ur eyes it always mom just hate mom pulled this and do this or are you actually using a light stand? We don't use ah light stand I have my assistant battery packs will clipped to their waist and their hand holding it. The reason I like them hand holding it is because they can move it exactly where I want the one thing you'll notice and we'll talk more about it outside is I'd never fire the flash directly of horizontal at the subject you gotta turn your flash so that were illuminating that spread is lighting up their whole body if you do if you do it where you're just firing it on the even plain the top part of their body is going to be lit up within the bottom part is going to go a little darker so we'll always turn it sideways so that we're getting that that light on two thousand seven two thousand eight when you didn't have somebody next to you yeah I always had someone next to me oh you've always had it right from the beginning the beginning my assistant was taylor right? So I always had her there then pushed quickly thereafter my assistant became um ah ah high school senior that we'd photograph the year before who was into photography she was cheap labor I mean, she was like ten bucks an hour off the books she was very happy you know, summer job for her and she did a great job so she'd be the one holding the reflector and holding lights I mean, you can find people who are willing to intern for you on its very cost effective I think they love photography they just want to be part of it so find somebody locally who's digging photography and bring him into your organization and you'll you'll see it it'll be a lot of fun. Fantastic. Well, we're still setting up video yes, we'll keep taking quite sure there's no shortage are you guys good on the on the whole focus recomposed thing I hope everybody's good on that I also two of so it question and from sam flusky um and somebody else had asked this is well but could you again review the tight middle wide in terms of specifically so the tightness here and middle is not necessarily the persons in the middle of the frame but maybe there are people who are from all over the world and if you could just yeah yeah let's let's do that let's go to grid mode here way go perfect it's like they were reading our minds that's right when we refer to tight middle wide I'm gonna talk through what's on the screen right here tight is going to be this first shot you're seeing on the left ok that's not when I say tight I'm not necessarily talking about compositionally tight I'm talking about your your focal length type compositionally you can put a bull's eye which is dead center you can put him off in a third which is a little more pleasing I like putting him in the third or every variant in between right you can put him bull's eye you can put him to the right you can put into the left again offering more diversity middle a mid shot is what you're seeing right here in the middle so it's more of ah three quarter shot we've got all the way past our hands maybe I had her arms crossed up top if she were like this and then we can zoom in a little tighter that's more of a middle style shot go all the way to the right here and you're seeing a full body so that was what I would deem as a wide shot now is it pertains to a panoramic picture a long skinny of fifteen by thirty wide is going to be a sixteen by thirty five we're not gonna be able to pull off a sixteen thirty five in the studio that's just not possible right there's not enough headroom and there's nothing here when you go wide guys the one thing you want to consider is your going wide for a reason you're going wide to incorporate architecture into the shot so if you look at a lot of my senior photography where I'm wide what I'm doing is I'm turning that subject I'm changing it from the senior into the scene right? And that's what sells those big shots because you'll find your clients go well I don't want a twenty by thirty portrait of myself on the wall well it's not a view it's a twenty by thirty of the brooklyn bridge and you just happen to be in that all right? So that's the key when you're going for these bigger shots well in the studio were limited that's a limitation for sure so hopefully that makes, uh, makes sense okay um carly k had asked talking can you talk a little bit about doing that with crimes just moving well, primes is, ah, first of all, I love prime lenses, right? I mean, so what we have in our bag of fifty and eighty five, um, you could get probably one hundred, one hundred ten, depending on who you're manufacturers, but let's, you say you're working with a fifty, I'm gonna assume she's working fifty millimeter lens. You can surely get tight, middle wide, but you're moving a lot in that time in a wide, so if if I were her, I would go with a seventy, two hundred from any manufacturer that she's with, however, you can absolutely accomplish the same task. It's, just going to look a little differently. That fifty on a tight is not gonna look it's crushed as a seventy two hundred when you're zoomed in, so it's going to change the look and feel of the portrait. But it up absolutely can be done. Just your feet become the zoom.

Class Description

Join Sal Cincotta for his "take no prisoner" approach to the business of high school senior photography. In this photography business course, Sal digs into marketing plans, business plans, pricing, and packaging. Sal also shows how to create an ambassador program so that your kids are talking about you and advocating your business in their schools.

This business course also includes a series of live in-studio and on-location photo fashion shoots, showing you how to capture the most of-the-moment trends, poses, and backgrounds. Sal also covers why high school senior photography is at the core of every successful photography business. Seniors become brides and brides become long-term family clients.